PMHS theater group, junior high cheerleaders recognized

Published 6:54 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Picayune Memorial High School theater group and Picayune Junior High School cheerleaders were recognized at Tuesday night’s meeting of the school board for the Picayune Municipal Separate School District.

The theater group carried their play, “Angel in the Night” by Joanna Halpert Kraus, to competitions where it has won several awards, including at the Mississippi Southwestern Theatre Festival:

— Overall Theatrical Experience.

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— Best Ensemble.

— Spirit Award.

— Best Supporting Actor by Isaiah Quiroz.

— All Star Cast by Alex Franklin.

“Angel in the Night” is a play based on the actual experiences of a teenage girl during the Holocaust when she tried to save a Jewish family.

PMHS teacher and theater sponsor Tony Seal said he was proud of the young thespians.

Three of the actors said theater has been a great experience for them, and one student, Ervin Cook, said theater was the only reason he was still in school.

“Were it not for theater, I would not be in school. School became a game … (but) finally I had a reason to come to school … Mr. Seal, Ms. Porter, they saved me,” Cook said.

Cook said the theater experience has been good for him in another way as well. He has an audition with the American Musical and Dramatic Arts Academy of New York, and if successful, may become a student at that school upon graduation from PMHS.

Kyle Walker told the board, “A lot of doors have opened up as I have tried to pursue this dream (acting). It put a passion in me.”

Jacob Hickman thanked the board for the assistance it has given the theater group because, “It was a really good experience for me.”

The junior high cheerleaders also were recognized for their success by taking first place in the South State competition.

The board also got a look at the design for a vanity tag for Maroon Tide boosters. Board member Tony Smith revealed the design during the board members’ comments segment of the meeting. He said a local designer had come up with the tag, 300 of which will have to be pre-sold before they can be stamped. He said the school district will receive $24 of the additional $31 the vanity tags will cost.

The board accepted a bid of $5,339.75 by Signs Plus to erect a sign at Nicholson Elementary and also accepted the bid of $5 an acre from BN Hunting Club for the 16th section in the Stennis buffer zone. The hunting lease will bring in about $3,200 a year for the district.

The board decided to rebid replacing the carpet in the high school band hall to be certain the specifications for the work were clear. The district received two bids for the project in the current bidding cycle, one for carpet and one for vinyl tile.

In other business, the board:

— Approved personnel matters.

— Approved consent items, including donations of by Pearl River County of $1,500 to the robotics program and $1,000 to the girls softball program, by Resurrection Life Church of $250 to South Side Lower Elementary, by World Vision of $1,500 to Nicholson Elementary and by Normandale Hills PTA of $1,048 to West Side Elementary.

— Approved a tax deferred annuity program resolution to permit contract exchanges.

— The budget timeline, including a 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 15 meeting on the budget.

— Approved a request by the 1961 basketball team to used the junior high gym for a reunion.

— Approved a request by the Civic Woman’s Club to meet at Nicholson Elementary.

— Approved waiving the fee to use the auditorium for the Miss Junior Miss pageant.

— Went into executive session on discipline, student and personnel matters.